“I was in Mark’s gospel again the other morning,” Stan began. “I was focusing on what Jesus said about defilement.”
“Defilement?” I responded. “What’s that all about?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “I don’t know what it’s all about, but I do know that Jesus talked a lot about defilement, about what does and what does not defile a person.”
“Did He have any examples of what does not defile a person?” I asked.
“Jesus said that what people put into them for physical sustenance does not defile them,” Stan replied.
“As in what they eat or drink?” I asked.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Jesus, in essence, declared that all foods are clean.”
“Thus overcoming some of the concern about dietary laws, what and what not to eat, and all that?”
“Seems so,” Stan replied.
“Okay,” I said, “if Jesus was talking about what does and what does not defile a person, what is it that does defile a person?”
“Jesus said it is what comes out of the person’s heart, what the person manifests, that is what defiles the person.”
“Such as what?” I asked. Did Jesus give any examples?”
“While I think the list could be virtually endless,” Stan replied, “Jesus did provide some concrete examples of what defiles a person.”
“Evil thoughts,” Stan replied, “along with sexual sins, thefts, murders, coveting, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”
“I suppose the whole rest of the Bible could be a listing of specific things that defile a person,” I said, “but I see the point Jesus was making. Those are the things of the heart that so easily lead us astray.”
“You’re right about that, my friend,” Stan replied. “And I know that for me anything that I think, say, or do that is contrary to the will of God that the Holy Spirit makes clear to me, anything that I manifest that is contrary to Him, that is defilement.”
“Remedy?” I asked.
“How about the three steps of discipleship?” Stan replied. “Deny self, take up what God has for me to take up, whatever the cost, and follow Him, whatever the direction.”
“Discipleship to avoid defilement,” I commented. “Sounds good to me!”
Bible verses to consider:
That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. Mark 7:20-23.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 14-16.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for showing me in your word what defilement looks like. I confess that too often what I think, say, and do is contrary to what you have for me to be and to do. I know and you know the reason for that is that I want to exalt myself and I want to do what I want to do apart from you and what you have for me. Please forgive me and please help me in following every step of your lead in being and doing all for you and your praise, honor, and glory, rather than for any defilement. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Jesus had a list of things that defile a person. Was His list complete or are there other things you could add to His list? If you sense that there are things in your life that fall into the list of defilement, things that should be removed, how is that going to happen? Can you do it on your own? If not, whose help do you need? How do you seek that help? Is that what you want? Why or why not.?